retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Bloomberg reports that "sales at restaurants and bars overtook spending at grocery stores in March for the first time ever, according to Commerce Department data released Tuesday that dates to 1992."

The story suggests that the sales figures offer "some insight into the evolution of American eating habits, hinting at a generational shift that already has restaurants thinking about how to cater to those growing ranks of millennials." Essentially, it comes down to this - that millennials are more willing to spend money eating out, while aging Baby Boomers "have been expressing less of a willingness to spend on dining out, while funneling more cash toward those grocery trips."
KC's View:
But wait a minute.

It was just about a week ago that Bloomberg reported on new research from Forrester saying that "retailers should stop wasting so much time trying to win over millennials because they’re often broke. Instead, they should target older shoppers with more money to spend."

So does that mean while millennials prefer eating out, they won't have much money to spend doing so? I gather they'll be largely trying to pay off crushing college debt. Also, the founder of Burger King said yesterday that if fast food chains like his are forced to raise wages, fast food burgers could cost as much as $10 ... which will only put more pressure on millennials' wallets.

To me, the larger lesson is that it probably makes sense not to over-characterize generations ... there's a lot of room for variations within every demographic set.